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How Do I Change My Environment if I Feel Trapped?


This week’s question from our portal “Ask Us Anything” comes from Alicia.

At the Art of Success, you talked about changing your environment. I’ve found that I’m stuck in the environment I’m in. I don’t know how to shift my physical environment right now, because I’ve built it in such a way that I feel trapped in it. I’ve built my whole life around a vow that I made to myself. I’m specifically referring to a marriage vow.

How can we change those vows we made to ourselves at a younger age that now keep us trapped in it? My partner is like, “No, you’re not leaving—that’s not going to happen.” It’s not a toxic or dangerous situation. It’s just emotionally draining because we’re on completely different levels. He operates without any self-awareness, and I’m like, “I can’t.”

It’s because the vow is made out of ignorance. It’s like when a person makes a vow for marriage for life, then they find out they’re married to a toxic individual.

It’s like… are you going to keep that vow and stay miserable and sick your whole life? Or are you going to change it because you understand that you made something out of more of a childhood dream than you did out of any maturity and responsibility?

I think we do that all the time. We see things with a different eye when we’re younger, because we don’t have maturity, knowledge, or experience yet.

So, don’t beat yourself up over it. Celebrate the new awareness and say, “Okay, what needs to change in order for me to move forward?”

The more that happens, the easier it becomes.

The only thing you’re attached to is some emotional commitment that you have to resolve for yourself.

If your situation is really serious, you might consider getting legal counsel or protecting yourself. If it’s just an emotional statement, then I understand where that emotional statement comes from.

One of the things you have to communicate to your partner is that this is not about your partner. This is about you and what you’re doing for you, and suggest that your partner get help or assistance for whatever they’re going through.

I very much understand what it’s like. I stayed in a relationship for seven years beyond the point of knowing it was never going to work, just because I was so damn stubborn based on the commitment I’d made.

I wasn’t going to break that commitment. The commitment really came out of the pain of being a child and seeing my parents get divorced.

I was like, “I’m not going to do that when I become an adult; I’m going to stay no matter what.”

It’s a very innocent, but also a very ignorant commitment. It took me a long time to come to the realization about what was actually true, versus what was made-up in my mind.






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